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Ideas and feedback for updating kitchen

HU-702041706
2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

Looking for ideas and feedback on updating (not reconfiguring) a kitchen:


Updates done in the last year:

- new Pental quartz counters (white with a little grey/brown veining) and we used the same quartz for the backsplash (we were in a hurry), stainless steel sinks and appliances (except for old 32 yr old sub zero which we may replace), gooseneck faucets, SS-like lighting fixture that didn't block the view from family into the kitchen, painted all the walls white (to replace dated butter yellow in kitchen).


We're considering the following:

- Cabinets will be refaced with a shaker style to get rid of the arch and maple/honey color. White cabinets and light grey island? All white cabinets? All grey cabinets? Another color? Keep or remove glass from cabinets next to sink?
- 9 ft high ceiling so should we add stacker cabinets to close gap to ceiling? We currently have lighting above and below cabinets but want a more high-end look so thinking of the stacker cabinets (and put in glass for those stacker cabinets above current glass cabinets, and in the corner).
- Replace large stainless steel border around microwave with wood to match cabinets.
- Keep a cabinet face on the subzero (instead of SS)? With the refrigerator facing the main area, I don't want to have to maintain the SS (I'm finding the new SS dishwasher, oven, and recycling bin trouble enough).
- Hardware would be some kind of silver (stainless steel, nickel, ?) to match the stainless steel appliances/sink ... ideas?; pulls on drawers and knobs on doors
- Flooring to be replaced throughout home which will replace this white kitchen tile, light berber carpet in adjacent family room, and old natural maple flooring in rest of home. Will likely go with engineered french white oak (light/medium wood with light knotting)
- Currently have 30 yr old polished brass door hardware. Should we replace with black matte handles/hinges?
- (Ignore furniture in kitchen/family, will be replaced)
- (Not sure how long we'll be in the home so we want to make it desirable for future buyers.)


Open to ideas, constructive criticism, etc. Photos below.






Comments (36)

  • acm
    2 months ago

    I would not buy all new doors for the uppers and then add skinny little stacked cabinets above -- just get all new uppers in 42" height, and a cabinet over the fridge to match. Then get a new pantry door to match. I'll bet you come out about the same. (I'd say something about getting at least one base cabinet worth of drawers, but you've already put on new stone, so too late for that, I guess.)


    Are you fixing this up for resale?

  • HU-702041706
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thank you. Our existing cabinets are already 36” high and can’t be raised up (backsplash already in and don’t want to redo) and it’s another 16” from the cabinets to the ceiling molding (so the stacker cabinets would be 16”). We do have several cabinets already with pullout drawers. Fixing up for potential resell or we may plan to stay.

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  • HU-675849
    2 months ago

    To me, the dark grout which clearly defines each white tile is the biggest issue. If you are just fixing up for resale, I wonder if just re-grouting the tile in a white grout would blend it all together enough to look fine. I'm not a fan of the arch on the cabinet faces either, like you.

  • HU-702041706
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    We thought of doing something with the grout but the tiles are still dated and we want the same flooring for the adjacent family room to make it appear more open/spacious (and we got a good bid on the wood flooring throughout the house). I should mention that the home is 4550 sq ft and homes are high priced in our area (so potential future buyers will expect nicer flooring).

  • susan49417
    2 months ago

    Whatever you choose to do, I would focus on getting rid of the cook top on the island. It is never a good idea and if you really are in an area of high end homes, then making the kitchen function well rather than putting lipstick on a pig would yield you the best results.

    HU-702041706 thanked susan49417
  • ptreckel
    2 months ago

    I would opt for natural wood cabinets over white or gray. Your kitchen has nice lines, potentially leaning modern. You might consider slab front vs. shaker style cabinet doors. Minimalist pulls. I wouldn’t necessarily stack cabinets, but I would remove the decorative molding on your cabinets. Is the microwave free standing on a shelf? That could be exposed vs. building a surround to enclose it.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Sorry you went about this all wrong so now you are trying to fix it in the wrong order .I think spending huge amounts of money on cabinets that are dated is a bad idea. . All those base cabinets should be drawers if you want an updated look. To me just stop and think about all he things you are spending money on in a house you don't even know how long you will live there . Maple flooring is a good type why not just do the same in the spaces that need new flooring and then have all finished to match. IMO redoing anything for future buyers is a waste .I agree just leave the cabinets you have a poor layout that needed fixing for sure.

  • just_janni
    2 months ago

    Flooring will go a long way in modernizing this space. Do that first for sure.


    I'd also then consider professionally painting the island - perhaps a green or a blue - that will draw attention away from the door arches and with your single / more muted counter - you can have some fun.

  • Andee
    2 months ago

    If you don't know whether you are staying or going, and you are thinking piecemeal anyway, do one thing that will have the most impact: the floor. You will like everything else better with the new floor, potential buyers will like it better. The arches and lower cabinets will not matter as much with a new floor. Stop then, and see where you are - both style-wise as well as location.

  • Kendrah
    2 months ago

    If you live in a high priced home area my guess is a new buyer will rip out whatever you put in and start a new regardless if you keep the kitchen the same, gut it, or something in between. Check Zillow to see if people listed outdated kitchen and whether it changes the sold price. I have lived in many places where $150k kitchens don't make a damn bit of difference in the listing or sale price.


    Back to what you asked about. Sure, you did some of this in reverse, but who cares. This is where you are now and I appreciate that you don't want to chuck everything in a landfill and aren't going bonkers with a gut.


    Yes to getting rid of the arches. I'd do all the cabinets and island in the same color. Less choppy in this slightly tight space. I hate a soffit but hate even more tiny top cabinets that make a small space busier and don't really add good storage. Remove the trim and build a soffit - or whatever you call drywalling up the dead space! Pick a light colored cabinet color and match your wall color to it. It will make the drywalled space above your cabinets less noticable.


    Cooktops on an island are not ideal, but at least your seating is not nearby, it looks quality, and its ridiculous to suggest you rip it out and start over.


    I'd run the same wood floors in your kitchen that you are putting throughout the house. Again, to reduce choppiness. Enjoy what is about to become your nearly new feeling space.


    HU-702041706 thanked Kendrah
  • apple_pie_order
    2 months ago

    The Sub Zero fridge is what gives it a high end look, supported by the double oven. New panels to match whatever you are doing can be installed on the fridge.


    Gray is trending out. Don't spend money to chase trends on the way down. Natural woods are trending up. If you want a high end finish, look at book-matched, walnut veneer slab-style doors to see if they'd coordinate well with your new wood floors and with the overall style of the house.

    HU-702041706 thanked apple_pie_order
  • deegw
    2 months ago

    I agree that you should run the same flooring from the kitchen into the family room area. Get a nice area rug for your family room for warmth and color.

    If the arch doors bother you, definitely replace them, if not, don't spend the money for a potential future buyer.

    If you do want to update the cabinets, keep in mind that grey is waning in popularity. I would do a natural wood or white cabinet cabinet in your space. You can paint the island an interesting color to add some of your personality to the space.


    HU-702041706 thanked deegw
  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    I would consider refacing in slab in the color of the current cabinets. It works with the current new countertops. And medium wood is coming back. Can't help but wonder if arched doors are far behind.

    Unfortunately you really backed yourself into a corner by installing expensive countertops and backsplash first because you can't make even the most minor change.

  • HU-675849
    2 months ago

    Ok, since you are in a high-end area. I would go modern in the kitchen (slab doors/European cabinets) and tie into the color scheme of your living room fireplace. Grey and blue?

  • Joseph Babcock
    2 months ago

    Does the cooktop have a built in downdraft? Otherwise I’d think about putting in a vent hood over island.

  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    Here's what happens with slabs. I could not do the doors in the far left or far right. The floor seems to work with this.

    Adding an overhead range hood may not be that hard depending upon which way the joists run.

    Despite the demands for range hoods in here, I see many kitchens in real estate with no hood at all depending upon location. In my location you don't have to have one if the kitchen has an operable window.

    I would not be without one, but out of the kitchens I have done for other people, I always include a range hood, and most of the people rarely if ever turn them on.


    HU-702041706 thanked palimpsest
  • HU-702041706
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Thank you to all the responses thus far. Here's some further info/clarification based on responses:

    - We didn't do the recent updates in proper order (as didn't anticipate needing to do more) but have to live with that. We tested the market and then took it off the market (still contemplating putting it back on next year or sometime in the future). In this tough market, homes that are selling in our area have been recently updated. I know I'm trying to walk a fine line - update cost-effectively for our needs (in case we decide to stay) as well as any potential future buyer.

    - Cooktop on island wasn't something we could change w/o a lot of reconfiguration and expense. The new cooktop has a built-in downdraft so no need for a hood.

    - MIcrowave is free standing on a shelf; would not enclose it completely but just change the SS-like wide strip around it to the same wood as the cabinets to make it less obvious.

    - Working with a cabinet refacing company, we've got a very cost-effective bid to change the doors/drawers (remove the arch and 'orange' maple look). While we don't have the new big drawers that are in style, several of our cabinets have pull out drawers.

    - The engineered maple flooring in the rest of the house is 30+ years old, has narrow planks, and is discolored (and we've already refinished it a couple of times). Thus, the idea to change it all. One floor surface throughout (except bathrooms) is very desirable.

    - We live in a rural area and have grey stone with some blue outside (pool tile, outdoor cushions all visible from kitchen/family), and grey castlestone on fireplaces inside. Have some blue indoor furniture but not tied to that furniture nor blue (but I do like blue).

    - Have a designer coming next week to give us input but after all of the conversations we've had to date with contractors, designers, real estate agents, friends, and now Houzz ... it's amazing how many different opinions you get but definitely all extremely valuable.

  • Kendrah
    2 months ago

    "Still contemplating putting it back on next year or sometime in the future ....Homes are high priced in our area (so potential future buyers will expect nicer flooring)....In this tough market, homes that are selling in our area have been recently updated."


    You've put it on and off once and want a go at it next year? It sounds to me like you don't have solid real estate advice and I guess you might not have priced your home correctly. The more you experiment with taking it on and off, the worse your sales history is, and the less desirable your home will be.


    My experience is that real estate agents always want you to fix things up and list it at a higher price. It is no sweat off their back if you spend your own money fixing things up from your own pocketbook, and they get a hire commission if you price it higher, but if you don't sell higher after all of that work, they are out nothing. I'm not saying that your realtor is evil or out to get you, it is just the way the industry tends to roll and it isn't in favor of the seller.


    I'm curious if you take: Previous asking price, minus 10 - 15%, then minus the cost of how much you would spend on the new renovation work you are about to embark on. I think that is your new asking price. I'd skip all of these renovations, stage your house really well, list it at the right time of year, and price it to sell.

    HU-702041706 thanked Kendrah
  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    If you are going to live in it, I think you should do what you want.


    If you are doing these things to sell it, I would not. I would not buy a house with a newly renovated kitchen with 30 year old cabinets underneath and with that layout. I would buy that kitchen with that existing cabinet and layout and no other improvements thinking that if the only new things I was wasting was new countertops, I would feel less guilty about gutting it than if everything was new.


    You need to make sure you are comparing "recently updated" (cosmetically) with "recently updated" (new kitchen with current concepts of storage and layout).

    HU-702041706 thanked palimpsest
  • RedRyder
    2 months ago

    Make changes that you want to live with. Doing the floors so they are consistent throughout the first floor is a good idea. Refacing your kitchen can be more cost effective than a gut job, but only if you want to make the change.

    After you change the floors, you may just decide to leave the kitchen. I would NOT redo it for “a potential buyer”. In a higher cost area, the next buyer can redo the kitchen to their own liking.

    If you want a different kitchen for yourself, then you should reface. I refaced my oak kitchen because I wanted ivory. I also changed all the lower cabinets to drawers (I know you have pullouts in your lower cabinets). A refacing company can do all that.

    When you’re ready to re-list, you will price accordingly.

    HU-702041706 thanked RedRyder
  • RedRyder
    2 months ago

    What ideas do you have for the floors? Wood or LVP? Something else?

    HU-702041706 thanked RedRyder
  • HU-702041706
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Will likely go with engineered wood - european white oak (light/medium wood with light knotting). I don't think the current cabinets would go.

  • RedRyder
    2 months ago

    Hmmm - those sound like beautiful floors. But yeah, they won’t look great with your kitchen. Have you considered a solid colored kitchen? I did ivory but I love green and blue kitchens too. Any color you’ve thought of?

    HU-702041706 thanked RedRyder
  • RedRyder
    2 months ago

    Blues…

    HU-702041706 thanked RedRyder
  • HU-702041706
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Regarding color of kitchen cabinets .... thank you for the green and blue ideas. I know they're both 'in' (and I like them) so will consider but feel a need to go with 'neutral'. Haven't settled on the color.

  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    I really think you need to decide what you are going to do regarding living there vs putting it on the market before you finalize your decisions unless you are willing to lose money on the kitchen renovation when you sell. (This is complex, because you may not lose money overall because of the value of the property. But if you spent $75,000 on the refresh you are not going to get $75,000 more than your neighbor who Didn't spend it--not in most current markets).

    In any case, the color of the floor that you pick is open ended. It doesn't make a lot of strategic sense to pick something Intentionally that does not look good with the current kitchen cabinets because then you are Forced into doing something about the kitchen cabinets. Surely there is some flooring that would look good with the current cabinets And look good with some other finish if/when you update as well. Don't shoot yourself in the foot again.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    If you are a buyer and have two homes for sale at the same price and one has an updated kitchen and one does not you would be stupid to buy the one that doesn't have the updated kitchen. If the one that does not have the updated kitchen is priced 30k less than the one with the updated kitchen you may choose the lower priced home knowing you have an extra $30k that you can spend to update the kitchen.


    As a seller, if you can sell your home as is for $30k less, why would you spend $80k updating the kitchen to make $30k more on the sale. You have just gifted the new owner $50k and have $50k less to spend on your next home.



    https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2023/


  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    If I were in your situation the only thing I would do at this point (until you know if you are going to stay or sell) is recolor the grout. This you can do yourself for $100.00 I wouldn't want to gift my money to the new owners.


  • roarah
    2 months ago

    The floor and the paneled fridge that is still obviously a fridge but hoping to look like a cabinet are dating the kitchen more than the arched doors, color nor not to ceiling cabinets do. Take the fridge panels off and change the grout or the entire floor.

  • palimpsest
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I don't really agree about the refrigerator itself being "dated" because Subzero still offers a newly introduced model with this this exact configuration: the "Classic" series with the panel ready option can be installed with standard installation (not flush) and has an exposed frame with integral handles and a top grille. While most people probably currently opt for the paneled grille or the wider louvered grille, the classic grille is still available.

    This is from the 2021 design guide, but the 2023 model has the same options:



    -----

    I actually considered doing this exact appearance in a bottom freezer for my own kitchen, paneled, exposed classic grille and frame, because my house was built in the early 60s and I thought it would look "right", but I did go with fully integrated, because I liked the drawers better, it's a little less expensive, weighs a little less and has a more restricted door swing. But I will kind of miss the grille.


    HU-702041706 thanked palimpsest
  • RedRyder
    2 months ago

    I understand wanting a neutral. So did I so here is my refaced oak (yes, it was this dark) kitchen to SW Creamy.

    HU-702041706 thanked RedRyder
  • RedRyder
    2 months ago

    On the real estate comments - Some buyers will buy a house with a renovated kitchen because, unlike us obsessed Houzzers, they don’t want to renovate and it scares the heck out of them.

    The perceived value of a renovated kitchen has to do with the area, the current market in your area and how the house is marketed. Ultimately, you can’t control anything but your own renovation, or keeping your kitchen as is.

    HU-702041706 thanked RedRyder
  • clt3
    2 months ago

    We did an update 2 years ago. Decided to get rid of the wood panels on the refrigerator and had stainless panels made.



    Same cabinets and refrigerator.

    HU-702041706 thanked clt3
  • HU-702041706
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    RedRyder, your comment "Some buyers will buy a house with a renovated kitchen because, unlike us obsessed Houzzers, they don’t want to renovate and it scares the heck out of them" is spot on ... and every market is unique (location, time), especially ours for reasons I won't go into. Loved your cream cabinets (the original wood was beautiful as well), thx for sharing the photos.


    Clt3, was thinking if we went with white cabinets, we'd go with SS on the subzero (and deal w/ the cleaning) and really like the pop of your teal(?) on the island (thx for the photos).


    Palimpsest, i do like the look of the integrated face of your subzero. My husband dislikes the big grill on the old/classic model. I know you're right - that we need to decide if selling or staying here ... I just haven't gotten there yet :>).


    The total cost of all the updates I've described (including wood flooring throughout) are expected to come in <2.7% the price of the home. So we're expecting to enjoy what we wind up with (it will be better than what we have) or remove an obstacle to some prospective buyers.



  • ptreckel
    2 months ago

    If nothing else, you have been exposed to a far ranging body of advice and can walk alway with many questions to resolve before your move forward. Pluses and minuses to every choice, no? It may well be that remodeling your kitchen into something that you like might be the deciding factor in whether you stay or you go! And at least you have a sense of what is on trend now, what might be matters of concern to future buyers, etc. Apart from those darn arched upper cabinets, you have a lovely kitchen. (And, who knows…by the time you decided you do want to move…they might return to fashion again! HA!). You might get some of your money back; you might not. But your ideas are good ones, I think, and your tendency is to lean toward the classic. So that is good for the future, too. And…seriously, where I live in the fly-over Midwest there was NEVER the ridiculously huge real estate boom as there was during Covid in the SE, etc. Those crazy days are past. Prices are being cut. So…I say, remodel and choose what YOU want at this point. Let the future take care of itself. Good luck!

    HU-702041706 thanked ptreckel
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